Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen: The Official Announcement1
Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen was born February 2, 2011, weighing 8.3 pounds.
The official public announcement was published at the Rufus Wainwright web site by Rufus and his fiancé Jorn:
Darling daughter Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen was born on February 2, 2011 in Los Angeles, California to proud parents Lorca Cohen, Rufus Wainwright and Deputy Dad Jorn Weisbrodt. The little angel is evidently healthy, presumably happy and certainly very very beautiful.
Daddy #1 would like to offer everyone a digital cigar and welcome the little lady in with a French phrase from his favorite folk song, A La Claire Fontaine : “Il y a longtemps que je t’aime, jamais je ne t’oublierai.”
Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen: The Background
Viva’s mother is 36 year old Lorca Cohen,2 the daughter of Leonard Cohen (who named her after the poet, Federico Garcia Lorca) and Suzanne Elrod and the brother of singer-songwriter Adam Cohen.3 She has worked as a chef and now owns an antique shop in Los Angeles. She has also been the photographer for many of the images published of her father, his musicians, and friends.
I loved him [Lorca] as a kid; I named my daughter Lorca, so you can see this is not a casual figure in my life.
Rufus Wainwright And Jorn Weisbrodt
Rufus Wainwright, Viva’s biological father, is a 37 year old singer-songwriter who began touring at age 13 and has become increasingly popular over the past decade. Rufus came out as gay during his teenage years; he and and Jorn Weisbrodt have been partners for five years.
Rufus was born into an extraordinarily musical family. His parent are folk singers Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III. Rufus was, in fact, the focus of two of Loudon Wainwright’s best known songs, “Rufus is a Tit Man” and the “A Father And A Son.” His sister, Martha Wainwright, is also a singer-songwriter.
The Wainwright – Cohen Connection
Rufus is a long-time friend of Lorca and Leonard Cohen. An April 1, 1994 Rolling Stone article about Melissa Auf der Maur, the bassist for Hole, noted that she, “Rufus Wainwright, and Leonard Cohen’s daughter, Lorca,” were “childhood friends.” Rufus and Lorca have other friends, as shown in this photo from the 1990s.
Coincidentally, Rufus Wainwright Quotes Leonard Cohen On Parenthood was posted almost exactly one year ago:
One time I was hanging out with Leonard Cohen and his daughter [Lorca Cohen]. She was talking about this child she had known as a baby who she hadn’t seen for a few years and how he was now grown up, and she said to her dad: ‘You know, it’s pretty amazing watching how the baby became a person.’ Leonard looked at her and replied very dryly, as only he could: ‘You know, it’s pretty much the only amazing thing there is.’” [Laughs loudly] It’s clearly not a necessity for everyone, but I feel, you know, I shouldn’t deny myself all that amazement…
Rufus also described his first encounter with Leonard Cohen:
I constantly feel that [starstruck] around Leonard Cohen. I’m quite good friends with his daugther. Every time I see him, I’m always nervous. He has an incredible magnetism, his whole aura and persona. The first time I met him, he was in his underwear. Not skimpy underwear, but he had a shirt on and his boxer shorts. He was feeding a little bird, a little bird that he’d found that had fallen out of the nest, and he was giving it little sausages. Biting up the little pieces of sausage, and, like, regurgitating it, like a mother bird would.
- Yes, given Heck Of A Guy’s orientation, it is amazing that this post is not headlined “Leonard Cohen And Loudon Wainwright III Become Proud Grandfathers Simultaneously – What Are The Odds?” I have, in fact, avoided this story for over a month. Rather than continuing to respond individually to ongoing emailed questions about Viva’s birth, however, I am summarizing the basic information in this post. [↩]
- Lorca Cohen was initially identified as the surrogate mother. This characterization was based on newspaper reports which were erroneous. For details, see Lorca Cohen Is Mother, Not Surrogate Of Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen [↩]
- Viva is Leonard Cohen’s second grandchild. Adam has a son, Cassius, who was four years old February 10th. [↩]